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Setting the stage: Songs of the dusty road

“I’m Woody, he’s Guthrie,” Bill Weiler joked, pointing to guitarist Marc Harvey.

Accompanying “Of Mice and Men” is a unique musical component as Harvey and Weiler sing songs of Woody Guthrie that celebrate the laborer and the downtrodden of the Dust Bowl and Depression eras.

As co-musical directors for the production, Harvey and Weiler provide a musical scene-setting for the story to come about men whose dreams far surpass their earthly means.

Harvey plays the guitar and sings with Weiler, who takes to the piano for several songs. They perform on stage before the show, and in the lobby during intermission.

In their final song before the play begins, “Blowing Down this Dusty Road,” they part the curtains and leave the stage singing. The lights then go down and, moments later, enter two men of the dusty road, the protagonists George and Lennie.

Saturday night’s packed house joined Weiler and Harvey for a sing-along to songs such as “This Land is Your Land” and The Big Rock Candy Mountain.” Some audience members have stood to do harmony parts with Weiler and Harvey, and in one case someone pulled out a flute to add to the music.

Harvey is a newcomer to local theater productions and Weiler has performed as an actor in a number of CAST and Plays for Non-Profits shows, as well as served as musical director for several productions.

Their playlist of tunes by Guthrie and others also includes: “Hard Traveling,” “Do Re Mi,” “Just Passin’ Through,” “Just Laid Around,” “Long Way from Virginia,” “My Rambling Boy,” “500 Miles,” “Blowing Down this Old Dusty Road,” “Hope Beyond Hope,” “Worried Man,” “Keep on the Sunny Side/This Little Light of Mine” medley, “Dusty Old Dust (So Long It’s Been Good to Know You),” and “Hobo’s Lullaby.”

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Shows are Thursday to Saturday, 7:30 p.m. (2 hours, 45 minutes including intermission)

n Tickets at Waucoma Bookstore, showtix4U.com and at the Center.

n Language and adult themes; play is suitable for ages 14 and over.

n For Aug. 9 show, bring up to three cans of food for FISH food bank, for discount of $1 per can off admission.

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